We present a critical assessment of the SN1987A supernova cooling bound on axions and other light particles. Core-collapse simulations used in the literature to substantiate the bound omitted from the calculation the envelope exterior to the proto-neutron star (PNS). As a result, the only source of neutrinos in these simulations was, by construction, a cooling PNS. We show that if the canonical delayed neutrino mechanism failed to explode SN1987A, and if the pre-collapse star was rotating, then an accretion disk would form that could explain the late-time ($t\gtrsim5$ sec) neutrino events. Such accretion disk would be a natural feature if SN1987A was a collapse-induced thermonuclear explosion. Axions do not cool the disk and do not affect its neutrino output, provided the disk is optically-thin to neutrinos, as it naturally is. These considerations cast doubt on the supernova cooling bound.


Is there a supernova bound on axions?

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